Guide to Application Writing for Classroom Teacher Positions

 
Guide to Application Writing for Classroom Teacher Positions
Guide to Application
Writing for Classroom
Teacher Positions

          In this document you’ll find detailed
          information about how to address the specific
          selection criteria for an advertised classroom
          teacher position and what to include in your
          application.

                                       © January 2015 (Updated)
                                       NSW Department of Education and Communities
Guide to Application Writing for Classroom Teacher Positions
Index 2

                                                 Index

Introduction                                                                       page 3
Locating advertised positions                                                      page 5
Research                                                                           page 6
Your curriculum vitae (CV)                                                         page 7
Your work experience                                                               page 10
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics                  page 11
    o   Approval to teach mathematics 7-12                                         page 13
    o   Demonstrated capacity and skills and/or experience teaching mathematics
        extensions 1 and 2                                                         page 15
    o   Capacity to integrate technology into effective classroom practice         page 17
    o   Capacity to plan and deliver engaging lessons that integrate the Quality
        Teaching model and maximise learning outcomes for students with
        diverse learning needs                                                     page 19
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher science                      page 21
    o   Approval to teach physics, chemistry and science Years 7-10                page 23
    o   Skills and/or experience catering for gifted and talented students         page 24
    o   Demonstrated communication and interpersonal skills with the capacity to
        work with students, parents, teachers and staff                            page 26
    o   Capacity to contribute to both faculty and whole school programs           page 29
Addressing the selection criteria – primary teacher                                page 31
    o   Approval to teach K-6                                                      page 33
    o   Skills and/or willingness to lead or coordinate the computer technology
        program                                                                    page 36
    o   Understanding of and sensitivity to the needs of students from a
        non-English speaking background and students from low socio-economic
        status communities                                                         page 38
    o   Relevant skills and/or experience to undertake programs in dance and
        sport                                                                      page 41
    o   Knowledge of and commitment to the Department's Aboriginal education
        policies                                                                   page 42
Including results and outcomes when addressing selection criteria                  page 45
Following the correct format                                                       page 46
Putting it all together in a document addressing all selection criteria            page 47
    o   Secondary teacher mathematics                                              page 48
    o   Secondary teacher science                                                  page 50
    o   Primary teacher                                                            page 52
Some final suggestions                                                             page 54
Guide to Application Writing for Classroom Teacher Positions
Introduction 3

                                           Introduction

Submitting your online application is the first step in applying for a permanent teaching appointment
with the NSW Department of Education and Communities. From the large number of people who
submit an application for each job that is advertised, only a few will be selected to be interviewed.
Writing an application that follows the correct format and addresses the specific position criteria is
essential if you want to make the interview list and have the best chance of being the recommended
applicant for the position.

This guide is not a template for an application, so don’t be tempted to copy the examples given.
Rather, use them to understand the way your application should be structured and the type of
information you should include. Your application must be as individual as you are. Read the
position advertisement carefully, research the school at which the job is advertised and submit a
fresh application for each position for which you apply. Don’t use exactly the same information each
time, as every position will be seeking different skills and experiences.

To submit your online application on jobs.nsw, after you have registered or logged-in, there are 9
steps to complete:

       Step 1: Personal Details
       Step 2: Education
       Step 3: Work Experience
       Step 4: Diversity Information
       Step 5: References
       Step 6: Application Form
       Step 7: Supporting Documents
       Step 8: Disclaimer
       Step 9: Summary

At Step 7: Supporting Documents, you will be required to attach a Word or PDF document in which
you have addressed the specific selection criteria. You must address all selection criteria for an
advertised position.

This guide includes information about how to address specific selection criteria, with sample
responses for three positions: secondary teacher mathematics, secondary teacher science and
primary teacher. These samples are relevant no matter what your teaching method or discipline,
particularly when you realise the commonality of many selection criteria, so read them all. You might
not be a science teacher, but the position for which you are applying may use similar criteria, so you
will see how to go about preparing your application. It is important to note that your statements
addressing the specific selection criteria should be relevant and concise.

Attaching a curriculum vitae (CV) is optional, as most of the information found in a CV will be
entered during the 9 steps of the online application process. If you wish to attach a CV, please
ensure it is focused and succinct, as per the samples given, and attach it at Step 7: Supporting
Documents.
Guide to Application Writing for Classroom Teacher Positions
Introduction 4

There is no need to attach a covering letter.

Please note: previous page limits for applications no longer apply. However, you must ensure you
address the selection criteria in a concise and relevant manner.

         Applicants for advertised positions are responsible for ensuring that all
         information in the application is complete, correct and prepared by the
         applicant. Any statement found to be misleading may result in rejection of the
         application. If a statement is found to be misleading and the applicant has been
         appointed, the appointment may be rescinded and action taken in relation to the
         Department’s Code of Conduct.
Guide to Application Writing for Classroom Teacher Positions
Locating Advertised Positions 5

                                Locating advertised positions

Start your search for a permanent teaching position at the DEC Careers webpage. Go to
www.dec.nsw.gov.au/about-us/careers-centre to locate advertised teaching opportunities (a Google
search for DEC careers will find it).

Here you can click on the link that is most appropriate to your job search, and the link will take you
directly to the relevant section of jobs.nsw. (All permanent school positions advertised externally
will be posted on jobs.nsw.)

                      Applications for permanent teaching positions may only be
                      made online through jobs.nsw. If you are applying for a
                      school position you must submit your application by
                      4:00pm Eastern Standard Time on the closing date.
Research 6

                                            Research

Before you begin your application, do some basic research on the school at which you are applying
for a position. A good place to start is the school’s website. Make sure you look at the school’s
Annual School Reports, which will let you know what’s been going on at the school and its priorities.

Look for information like:

       The number of students at the school
       The school’s targets, for example in literacy or numeracy
       The type of school, for example comprehensive or co-educational or a multi-campus college
       Programs in which the school is involved.

You might use this information to show you understand the context of the school and to select the
best examples from your background to address each criterion. For example:

            o   The school is co-educational, so you could show how you meet the needs of both
                boys and girls
            o   The school is a senior campus of a college, so you could show how you meet the
                needs of senior students
            o   The school is a 7-12 high school, so you could show how you meet the needs of both
                junior and senior students
            o   The school has a high proportion of students from a non-English speaking
                background, so you could show how you address the literacy needs of students for
                whom English is their second language
            o   The school has a high proportion of students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres
                Strait Islanders, so you could show how you incorporate their perspectives and
                learning objectives into your teaching and learning practices.
Your curriculum vitae (CV) 7

                                 Your curriculum vitae (CV)

When applying for a teaching position through jobs.nsw, the inclusion of a separate CV is optional.
The essential information found in a CV will be entered during the 9 steps of the online application
process.

If you do wish to attach a CV, please ensure it is focused and succinct, as per the samples which
follow, and attach it at Step 7: Supporting Documents.

You may include:

            o   Contact details
            o   Tertiary qualifications (most recent qualifications first) including courses undertaken
                and teaching methods
            o   Optional additional (relevant) qualifications
            o   Teaching history – this can include temporary and casual positions (list your most
                recent experience first)
            o   Details of THREE referees including position, location and contact information
                (including a mobile telephone number if available). For permanent DEC employees,
                your current Principal must be the first referee. External applicants should include
                your current or most recent supervisor as a referee. If you have completed a
                substantial period of temporary teaching, it may be possible to have a principal as
                referee. (Please don’t say you will provide referees on request, as they must be
                included in your CV when you submit it.)

Skills and abilities are not included in these sample CVs as you would enter these under the
appropriate selection criteria. It is also not necessary to mention where you went to school or your
hobbies and interests. Any employment that is not related to your teaching application should be
excluded, so leave out the job you had at the local supermarket while you were in high school.
However, if your past employment has relevance to your application for a teaching position, it may
be included. Examples might include someone applying for a science position who has previously
worked as a research scientist, or someone applying for a position which includes dance as a skill,
who has previously worked as a dance teacher.

Note that each of the following samples is succinct and has a length of one page.

                               Remember, the inclusion of a CV is
                               optional.
Your curriculum vitae (CV) 8

Sample 1:         Curriculum vitae (CV)

                                   Antoinette Smithson - CV

123 Solar Avenue
Solarville NSW 1234
P: 1234 567 890
P: (02) 1234 5678
E: antoinette.smithson11@det.nsw.edu.au

                                           Tertiary Qualifications

2011 Bachelor of Education (Secondary Mathematics) – William Keats University
            o     History and Survey of Mathematics
            o     Group Processes in the School and Classroom
            o     Curriculum Studies
            o     Computers in Teaching
            o     Multivariable Calculus
            o     Linear Algebra

                                           Teaching Experience

2013 Terms 1 - 2          Teacher mathematics (temporary)             Kellytown High School
2012 Term 4               Teacher computing studies (temporary)       Kellytown High School
2012 Terms 1 - 3          Teacher mathematics (temporary)             January High School
2011 Term 4               casual teacher – various subjects           January High School

                                                 Referees

John Swanson                           Nicole Wilson                  Timothy Buksh
Principal                              Deputy Principal               Head Teacher Mathematics
Kellytown High School                  Kellytown High School          January High School
2345 1234                              2345 1234                      4567 1234
Your curriculum vitae (CV) 9

Sample 2:       Curriculum vitae (CV)

                      Curriculum Vitae of Malcolm Satrapy
PERSONAL DETAILS                                     NSW Institute of Teachers Accreditation
57 Aconda Drive                                      Number: 876543
Central Mountain 1235                                Approval Number: 654321
0987 654 321                                         Application for Position: Classroom Teacher
malcolm.satday21@det.nsw.edu.au                      Summerville Public School

Tertiary Qualifications
2010 Bachelor of Education (Primary) – John Shakespeare University
           o Mathematics in the Primary School
           o Language and Text in the Primary School
           o PD/Health/PE in the Primary School
           o Indigenous Education in the Primary School
           o Creative Arts in the Primary School
           o Literary Studies in the Primary School

Teaching Experience
2013 Term 2 to Term 4 – Release from face to face teacher (temporary) at January Public School
2013 Term 1 – Year 5 classroom teacher (temporary) Term 1 at January Public School
2012 Term 2 to Term 4 – Year 1 classroom teacher (temporary) at Kellytown Public School
2012 Term 1 – casual employment at Kellytown Public School and January Public School
2011 Term 3 to Term 4 – Kindergarten teacher (temporary) at Blue Hills Public School
2011 Term 1 to Term 2 – Casual employment at various schools in south western Sydney

Other Training/Professional Learning
            o   Senior First Aid and Emergency CPR (2010 renewed 2012)
            o   Active After School Community Coaching (2012)
            o   Maths Matters Training (2012)
            o   Accelerated Literacy in the NSW context (2011)
            o   Operating Connected Classroom equipment (March 2011)

Referees
1. Maria Dench                     2. Rob Dias Pires                   3. Susan Morgan
   Principal                          Assistant Principal                 Principal
   January Public School              January Public School               Kellytown Public School
   4567 8901                          4567 8901                           2345 6789
Your work experience 10

                                    Your work experience

Step 3 of the online application process at jobs.nsw asks you to enter details of your work experience.
This is not where you address the selection criteria, but is the place where you include a summary of
your responsibilities or achievements for each of your teaching work experiences.

This section can be a good place for the selection panel to learn things about you that may not have
been included in your responses to the specific selection criteria.

Some examples of the type of things you may include are:

• effectively used the literacy, numeracy and Best Start continuums to assess and monitor student
progress and inform teaching and learning
• coordinated and conducted senior choirs and collaborated with other schools in combined choirs
• coached and umpired PSSA boys’ and girls’ soccer teams
• established and maintained a class blog
• catered for students with learning difficulties and a student with a severe visual impairment.

Taught Preliminary and HSC chemistry and biology, Years 7-10 science classes including selective,
GAT, mainstream and support-unit classes.

   Computer Coordinator
   Junior and Senior Netball Coach
   Member of the Literacy and Numeracy Committees
   Environmental Club Coordinator

   Taught the full range of PDHPE Stage 4, 5 and 6, PASS, Community and Family Studies, Sport,
    Lifestyle and Recreation as well as Years 7-10 Science
   Coached various school, zone and knockout teams
   Hold a Level 1 coaching certificate in athletics
   Contributed to faculty and school teams including the Science Curriculum Team, Literacy and
    Numeracy Team, HSC Success Tutoring Program and Duke of Edinburgh.

                         Remember, it’s important to be brief in this section.
                         This section requires a summary only and is not
                         where you address the selection criteria.
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics 11

       Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics

The most important thing you must do in your application is address the selection criteria. This will
demonstrate how your specific skills, knowledge and abilities make you a candidate who the selection
panel will want to interview for the advertised role. This will be entered at Step 7 of the online
application process at jobs.nsw. Below is an example of selection criteria for a mathematics teacher
position at a secondary school. The example has four criteria but there could also be fewer or more,
as an advertised position does not have a fixed number of criteria. It is important to address each
one separately and not leave any out. Be aware that you can use the same example under different
criteria, but presented from a different perspective or with a different emphasis.

If you are a new scheme teacher, you could use examples from when you completed your
practicums or internships, or from your temporary teaching experiences.

                                          Selection Criteria

Approval to teach mathematics Years 7-12. Demonstrated capacity and skills and/or experience
teaching mathematics extensions 1 and 2. Capacity to integrate technology into effective classroom
practice. Capacity to plan and deliver engaging lessons that integrate the Quality Teaching model and
maximise learning outcomes for students with diverse learning needs.

For this position there are four separate criteria to be addressed.

    1. Approval to teach mathematics Years 7-12

You will receive your approval to teach when you meet the requirements set by the NSW
Department of Education and Communities. New scheme teachers will also need to satisfy the
requirements set by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES). For more
information see:

http://www.dec.nsw.gov.au/about-us/careers-centre/school-careers/teaching/your-teaching-
career/trained-teachers/apply-to-teach

You might think that there isn’t much to say for this criterion, other than the fact you have your
approval to teach. This is not the case. To impress the panel you need to give some detail about your
teaching experience and practices, and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of quality
teaching. This is also where you could select examples from your experience that are relevant to the
needs of the school at which you are applying for a position.

Have a look at the sample responses on pages 13 – 14, and start to think about your experience and
the examples you could use.

To access the document Quality teaching in NSW public schools, please go to:

https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/proflearn/docs/pdf/qt_EPSColor.pdf
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics 12

    2. Demonstrated capacity and skills and/or experience teaching mathematics
       extensions 1 and 2

‘Demonstrated capacity’ means you have successfully used these skills in the past and can discuss
specific examples. This criterion gives you the option of discussing demonstrated capacity and/or
experience teaching mathematics extensions 1 and 2. Under this criterion you could outline:
   o how your experience shows that you have the capacity and skills to teach mathematics
         extensions 1 and 2 (you will have used these skills elsewhere but may not yet have taught
         these subjects in a high school classroom)     and/or
   o your actual experience teaching mathematics extensions 1 and 2 in a high school classroom.

So if you haven’t yet taught mathematics extensions 1 or 2, you could discuss the subjects you
studied at university that are relevant to teaching mathematics extensions 1 and 2. You could also
discuss relevant experience, for example if you have tutored mathematics extension 1 students.

    3. Capacity to integrate technology into effective classroom practice

‘Capacity’ means you have the necessary skills or qualities but may not be able to discuss instances
where you have demonstrated this in a significant way (such as in a classroom). For example, under
this criterion you could outline your skills using specific software and how these may be transferable
into effective classroom practice. If you do have experience integrating technology into the classroom
then you would detail your experience here.

    4. Capacity to plan and deliver engaging lessons that integrate the Quality Teaching
       model and maximise learning outcomes for students with diverse learning needs.

Once again, ‘capacity’ means you have the necessary skills or qualities but may not be able to discuss
instances where you have demonstrated this in a significant way. Under this criterion there are two
keys things on which you must focus: your knowledge of the Quality Teaching model and your ability
to effectively teach students with diverse learning needs. To address this criterion you could give
examples of engaging lessons you delivered that integrated the Quality Teaching model and catered
for students with diverse learning needs.

The NSW Quality Teaching model can be found at:

https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/proflearn/docs/pdf/qt_EPSColor.pdf

If you are unsure about the meaning of any criterion, seek clarification from the contact person
whose details are given in the advertisement.

Let’s have a look at some samples of how other people addressed these criteria. We’ll look at one
criterion at a time. The samples offer different strengths and weaknesses in terms of the information
included. While you are reading the samples, think about what is effective but also how they could be
improved. Are the criteria strongly addressed? Are examples given and results stated?

Note also that each sample may not follow the exact form of the other samples. There are dot points,
paragraphs, words or phrases in bold, italics, variations in spacing, introductory and concluding
statements. In terms of setting out, you may choose which way you’d like to address the criteria.
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics 13

Approval to teach mathematics Years 7-12

Sample 1:       Approval to teach mathematics Years 7-12
                                                                                            Introductory
I have an outstanding record of successful teaching experience and improvement               statement
in student outcomes that has included a range of communities and their schools,              addressing
teaching all levels of mathematics to students from a diverse range of                        criterion
backgrounds and abilities.
 I have the Department of Education and Communities’ approval to teach
     mathematics 7 – 12                                                                    Detail of the
 Extensive experience in teaching higher level mathematics. My experience                  applicant’s
                                                                                         approval to teach
     teaching 2 unit mathematics, mathematics extension 1 and mathematics
     extension 2 gives me significant knowledge and understanding of the content of
     these courses and the HSC requirements of students. My students have
     consistently achieved excellent scores in the HSC with all my mathematics            The applicant’s
     extension 1 and 2 students achieving Bands E3 and E4                                relevant teaching
 A detailed knowledge of the mathematics curriculum. I was an active member              experience and
     of the faculty team that designed and wrote the teaching programs currently          specific student
                                                                                              results
     being used at Smithville High School for Years 7 – 10, 2 unit mathematics and
     mathematics extension 1, with a focus on the syllabus and curriculum. These
     programs are inclusive in nature and provide clear pathways for moving
     students to a deep knowledge and understanding of mathematics. This has               The applicant’s
     provided me with an in-depth knowledge of the curriculum and excellent skills              specific
     to program for the implementation of the National Curriculum in 2014                 knowledge and
 Written assessment tasks for Years 7  12. I have designed tasks which include           its relevance to
                                                                                         teaching practice
     explicit quality criteria, clear marking guidelines and feedback sheets which
     provide detailed and meaningful feedback to students
 Created a wide range of resources that support lessons by providing a concrete,
     visual context, provision for acceleration and compression of content as well as
     assisting student note building. These resources are widely used within the          The applicant’s
     faculty providing the opportunity to discuss pedagogy and provide assistance to         teaching
     teachers new to a course. In addition many of these resources are electronic so     practices and the
     that they can be modified as required                                                   resulting
 A passion for the teaching and learning of mathematics is of utmost                       impacts on
     importance as it is this passion which ignites enthusiasm and urges students to       teaching and
                                                                                              learning
     achieve their personal best. I am a passionate advocate of mathematics
     education fuelled by the belief that mathematics is not just content but the
     ability to be able to think mathematically in our world, to solve abstract,
     complicated, multi-perspective problems in a creative and logical manner. I
     successfully apply the Quality Teaching model enabling students to develop and
     gain confidence in their skills and abilities as well as an understanding of the
     importance of mathematics in all cultures.

 Remember, if you are a new scheme teacher, you could use examples from when
 you completed your practicums or internships, or from your temporary teaching
 experiences. Take another look at the example above under ‘A detailed
 knowledge of the mathematics curriculum’. Think about the teams in which you
 have been an active member and examples you could use.
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics 14

Sample 2:       Approval to teach mathematics Years 7-12

I have demonstrated my ability to work effectively with staff and students through:
 Successfully teaching 7-12 mathematics to a diverse range of students at
                                                                                            Details of the
    Millertown High School from 2008 to the present. I have taught Stages 4/5 and        applicant’s teaching
    Stage 6 general mathematics, advanced mathematics, extension 1 (currently                experience
    teaching) and extension 2. I am continuously working to prepare resources to
    teach mathematics at all stages, including mathematics extensions 1 and 2
 Creating, implementing and evaluating effective and innovative teaching and
    learning programs directly relating to students’ individual learning needs and
    abilities. I have continually developed and adapted my delivery and style to suit
    the needs of the students. Making sure that lessons are enjoyable and pitched
    correctly ensures that the students are given effective learning opportunities.
    All lessons have been structured alongside the range and content of NSW
    curriculum and by implementing the relevant pedagogy attached to those topics
 Structured lessons. I have incorporated a wide range of strategies and
    resources in my teaching and learning programs such as student centred
    activities, cooperative learning, utilising strategies such as visual aids using       The applicant’s
    technology, timed lesson activities with clear step by step instructions on how      teaching practices
    to approach a task and clearly defined ways to succeed. The structured lessons        and the resulting
                                                                                             impacts on
    with shorter learning activities build on each providing students’ ongoing
                                                                                            teaching and
    success                                                                                    learning
 Strong commitment to professional learning through attendance at in-service
    sessions and participating in teacher social media such as MAANG, MATHS
    LINKS, EDMODO Maths Communities, FACEBOOK groups which includes
    MANSW, GEOGEBRA etc. I also demonstrate my commitment to the NSW
    Quality Teaching model by applying the framework in my lessons to ensure they
    are meaningful and engaging for students
 Positive Behaviour for Learning Goals. I use a proactive approach by clearly
    defining expected behaviours and awarding students with class merits as part of
    the school merit system
 Student Welfare. I am committed to providing a safe, supportive and positive
    environment which promotes learning and the achievement of successful
    outcomes following school welfare policies. I have actively monitored student
    progress, issued and followed up Letters of Concern and maintained
    communication with parents.

 On page 8 it was noted that the same example could also be used under
 different criteria by highlighting a different perspective or with a different
 emphasis. In the sample above, the statement about structured lessons could
 also be used under another criterion, such as ‘Capacity to plan and deliver
 engaging lessons that integrate the Quality Teaching model and maximise
 learning outcomes for students with diverse learning needs’. However, you must
 ensure you do more than cut and paste the example. Instead, rewrite it with a
 different focus that is appropriate to the criterion.
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics 15

Demonstrated capacity and skills and/or experience teaching mathematics
extensions 1 and 2

Sample 1:       Demonstrated capacity and skills and/or experience teaching mathematics
                extensions 1 and 2

Whilst I’m a confident all round secondary mathematics teacher, my passion and my
strengths are certainly with teaching students mathematics extensions 1 and 2. I            The applicant’s
have taught mathematics extensions 1 and 2 for over 8 years. In my three years            relevant teaching
teaching mathematics extension 2 at Everly Road High School, each of my Year 12            experience and
students achieved a Band E3 or E4.                                                         specific student
                                                                                               results
Teaching mathematics extension subjects can be challenging, however as a teacher
who wants to see each individual thrive I incorporate various teaching methods and
approaches to enhance learning and understanding. As an example I developed a
suite of PowerPoint presentations for Complex Numbers, Polynomials and
Mechanics which enabled students to visualise the concepts.                                The applicant’s
Students also benefit from my active participation in extra-curricular activities, such       teaching
                                                                                          practices and the
as my presentation of an annual series of lectures for mathematics extension 2
                                                                                              resulting
students. I also actively mentor and teach fellow mathematics teachers, for example          impacts on
recently I presented a session at an Inter-School Mathematics Extension 2                   teaching and
Professional Development Day – a course designed for teachers new to teaching                  learning
mathematics extension 2.
                                                                                                  .

Sample 2:       Demonstrated capacity and skills and/or experience teaching mathematics
                extensions 1 and 2
                                                                                            The applicant’s
                                                                                          relevant teaching
I am qualified to teach all NSW courses in mathematics. My experience in
                                                                                           experience and
mathematics extensions 1 and 2 includes:                                                   specific student
• Five years’ experience teaching mathematics extension 1, resulting in E3 and E4              results
HSC results for a majority of students
• Successfully teaching the accelerated mathematics extension 1 course to prepare
students to sit HSC exams during Year 11                                                   The applicant’s
• Qualifications to teach mathematics extension 2, with ongoing professional                qualifications
collaboration with experienced colleagues who have had many years’ experience              and capacity to
teaching mathematics extension 2 and proven capacity to prepare excellent lessons.              teach
Proven dedication to my profession, and a long history of developing student                 mathematics
                                                                                             extension 2
performance and attitudes in my classes, directly and clearly reflect my motivation
and drive to be successful in whatever I set out to do.
                                                                                              Summary
                                                                                              statement

 Sometimes your statements addressing a particular criterion will require more or
 less space than statements addressing other criteria. It is not necessary to write
 the same amount for each criterion.
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics 16

Sample 3:       Demonstrated capacity and skills and/or experience teaching mathematics
                extensions 1 and 2
                                                                                            The applicant’s
As a mathematics teacher at Millertown High School, which has one of the highest          relevant teaching
                                                                                             experience
numbers of mathematics extensions 1 and 2 students in the state, I have taught a
mathematics extension 1 class every year since 2004 and a mathematics extension 2
class alternate years from 2005 onwards.                                                    The applicant’s
I have set mathematics extension 1 and extension 2 assessment tasks and Trial             teaching practices
Papers, marked and provided effective feedback to students. My knowledge of the            and the resulting
mathematics extension 2 course is demonstrated through my ability to anticipate           impacts on learning
and prepare students for the range of questions they are likely to encounter.
As a result of combining this expertise with my own efforts, students in my classes
                                                                                           The impact of the
have achieved outstanding academic results. Over the years that I have taught
                                                                                              applicant’s
mathematics extension 2 classes at Millertown High School, band 4 results with the         knowledge and
higher ability classes were consistently 90% and with the lower ability classes about       experience on
70%. In 2009 I taught the top mathematics extension 2 student in the state.                 student results

Sample 4:       Demonstrated capacity and skills and/or experience teaching mathematics
                extensions 1 and 2

Being a new scheme teacher I have not yet had much opportunity to teach
mathematics extensions 1 and 2. I do however have a good grasp of the content as I          The applicant’s
                                                                                                relevant
recently completed the mathematics extensions 1 and 2 courses as a high school
                                                                                          experience outside
student (2007). In addition I have had opportunities through private tutoring and           a school setting
two of my practicums to tutor/teach mathematics extensions 1 and 2 content –
including tutoring two students in mathematics extension 1 (through preliminary
and HSC years) and assisting the HSC mathematics extensions 1 and 2 classes at              The applicant’s
Blue Hills High School during my five week practicum. I taught a preliminary                   relevant
mathematics extension 1 class for 8 weeks during my internship at Main Street High        experience within a
School, which included setting and marking a key assessment task.                            school setting

 Is it effective to start with a negative statement or would you change this?

Sample 5:       Demonstrated capacity and skills and/or experience teaching mathematics
                extensions 1 and 2

Throughout my tertiary studies I enhanced my skills to teach mathematics                    The applicant’s
extensions 1 and 2. As part of my degrees I completed a range of subjects requiring       relevant skills and
                                                                                            competencies
a high level of mathematical competency. The mathematical subjects in my
education degree, partnered with those in my engineering degree which have a
major focus on algebra and calculus, combined to give me a deep and broad
exposure to mathematics and its application to real world situations. My tertiary           The applicant’s
                                                                                                 relevant
studies have given me the knowledge and confidence to teach mathematics
                                                                                          experience outside
extensions 1 and 2. I have been involved in one-to-one tutoring outside of school          of a school setting
hours for the past six years, including students studying mathematics extension 1
and 2. My experience with the content of these courses is current and intimate, and
I am enthusiastic and confident to participate in the teaching and learning of            Summary statement
mathematics extensions 1 and 2 classes.

 The sample above is presented as one paragraph. Would you set it out this way?
 Or would you think about using dot points or a series of smaller paragraphs?
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics 17

Capacity to integrate technology into effective classroom practice

Sample 1:       Capacity to integrate technology into effective classroom practice
                                                                                            Introductory
As an experienced mathematics teacher I use technology to create an exciting
                                                                                             statement
environment that encourages and engages students in learning mathematics.                  addressing the
 The Digital Education Revolution laptop is an excellent learning tool for                   criterion
    students from Years 9-12. I have used the laptop for curve sketching and other
    mathematical applications in the classroom. As a specific example, I have put
    together lessons on graphing straight lines and parabolas for Years 9 and 10           The applicant’s
    mathematics with a specific focus on the integration of ICT. This had a direct            teaching
    effect on generating a sense of real engagement through the classroom                practices and the
    environment. I have also successfully utilised a range of textbook software to       resulting impacts
    enhance classroom learning and provide enrichment and extension work to the              on learning
    more able learners as well as to assist the less able learners to reinforce
    mathematical concepts
 The introduction of SMART board technologies and laptops, together with
    platforms such as Moodle and Study Wiz, has brought a fundamental shift in
    pedagogy and demanded significant changes to my approach to teaching and              The applicant’s
                                                                                           contribution to
    learning. I have worked with colleagues in a team-teaching and learning
                                                                                         collegial learning
    situation and in these situations have helped them with my knowledge of ICT,
    enabling them to feel more confident and competent with using technology as a
    learning medium
 In junior and senior maths, I apply the principles of Quality Teaching relating to
    creative thinking and hypothesising (eg geometrical or algebraic proofs), logic
    (eg Euclidean geometry problems and Probability) and the cognitive skills
    associated with the transfer of data from algebraic to graphical form (eg
    coordinate geometry, conics, exponentials and interpretation of graphs). I also
                                                                                           The applicant’s
    regularly integrate the mathematics of physical phenomena with the principles
                                                                                             teaching
    of physics and cross-reference many mathematics extension 1 and 2 concepts           practices and the
    for the benefit of students studying physics (eg rectilinear and simple harmonic     resulting impacts
    motion, dynamics and circular motion)                                                   on learning
 I have undertaken training in Geogebra, a dynamic software package that
    strengthens students’ understanding of geometrical topics as well as graphs. I
    have since used Geogebra to enable students to make connections between the
    fundamental properties of graphs and their equations in algebraic form.
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics 18

Sample 2:       Capacity to integrate technology into effective classroom practice

Information and communication Technology (ICT) can transform teaching and                   Introductory
learning and help improve outcomes for all students. In my teaching I have                   statement
extensively used technology in order to make classroom lessons more effective,             addressing the
                                                                                              criterion
informative and purposeful.
 I have been using an interactive white board in my classroom for the last two
    years. I plan, prepare and deliver all my lessons using the SmartNotebook. I           The applicant’s
    incorporate animations into lessons to engage and motivate students                       teaching
 I have strong knowledge and experience in implementing modern technological            practices and the
    tools into effective classroom practice, having participated in workshops and        resulting impacts
    programs on the use of interactive white boards, the creation of quality                 on learning
    teaching and learning programs and elements of teaching such as
    connectedness, cultural background and higher order thinking
                                                                                           The applicant’s
 I have been involved in learning and introducing new technologies Web 2.0
                                                                                            professional
    tools such as Yammer, Edmodo, Animoto and Wiki which assist in preparation of
                                                                                            learning and
    assignments and interaction with the teaching and learning communities                  contribution to
 I have attended workshops on Adobe Pro and Adobe Captivate and delivered                collegial learning
    the training about them to school staff on School Development Days
 In my capacity as a relieving head teacher in 2011, I used technology in record
    keeping and storing results, marks and other important information on a
                                                                                            The applicant’s
    common drive that helped teaching staff to reflect on classroom teaching. I
                                                                                              teaching
    have prepared assessments and stored interactive lessons for Year 12 on the           practices and the
    common drive for the use of other staff members. I have used the data from            resulting impacts
    assessment tasks to determine marks/ranking and overall teaching outcomes,               on learning
    which has helped me to create class lists for the following year. I have analysed
    the reports to assess the outcomes to identify strengths and provide advice to
    enable improvement in areas of need                                                     Example of the
 I updated the webpage for the mathematics faculty of the school                          applicant’s skills
 I have taught graphic calculator to senior classes. The topics on statistics and              utilising
    financial mathematics were learnt easily with the aid of a graphic calculator             technology
 I extensively used computer programs FORTRN 90, MATLAB and Maple while
    working on a research project at University of New South Wales.
As a teacher at Foundation High school, I will use technology to present lessons            Concluding
                                                                                             statement
that are dynamic and engaging with maximum educational outcomes.
                                                                                           addressing the
                                                                                              criterion

It is important to think about the order in which you place your statements
addressing the criterion. In this sample, the dot point about the graphic calculator
(second from the bottom) is a strong statement against the criterion and should
be much higher. The last dot point should also be higher as it specifically
references the applicant’s competent application of technology (remember that
this criterion is about ‘capacity’ as explained on page 9). What other changes
would you make?
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics 19

Capacity to plan and deliver engaging lessons that integrate the Quality
Teaching model and maximise learning outcomes for students with diverse
learning needs

Sample 1:       Capacity to plan and deliver engaging lessons that integrate the Quality Teaching
                model and maximise learning outcomes for students with diverse learning needs.

The Quality Teaching model has been a foundation of my planning and teaching
implementation throughout my teaching career. It encourages me to place                      Introductory
importance on knowing my students and their learning needs in order to best plan              statement
lesson sequences.                                                                           addressing the
                                                                                               criterion
 Applying the elements of deep knowledge and understanding, I am constantly
    proving relationships which connect central concepts in mathematics to
    students. The elements of problematic knowledge and higher order thinking
    applied correctly engage students and work well with mathematics lessons to
    allow students to address questions from multiple perspectives. Students
    respond to well-constructed and open ended questions with confidence
 The elements of metalanguage and substantive communication apply strongly
    to mathematics and I frequently provide a commentary whilst teaching and also
    informally of the specialist language used in mathematics. This allows students
    to become explicitly aware of the metalanguage and concepts which have
    created and surround mathematics. Learning outcomes are enhanced
    dramatically when these elements are used in teaching practice and I have seen          The applicant’s
    the positive impact of this within my own teaching                                        teaching
 As a Learning and Support Teacher, I co-ordinated the teacher’s aides on a daily        practices and the
    basis to provide learning support to classroom teachers and students,                 resulting impacts
    organising special provisions, assessing students with learning difficulties and       on teaching and
                                                                                               learning
    communicating frequently with staff and parents which has enabled me to
    effectively cater for diverse learners within regular classes
 Through my studies I have gained extensive knowledge of mathematical
    techniques and students with diverse needs. I currently incorporate effective
    numeracy and modification skills, where possible, within my teaching and
    learning programs. This educational connection on a daily basis has enhanced
    engagement and significance leading to improved achievement of student
    outcomes
 Strategies I incorporate include various grouping structures, extension,
    modification and enrichment activities and the use of Bloom’s Taxonomy in the
    creation of tasks. These strategies encourage student self-regulation, originality,
    problem solving and higher order thinking, leading to students realising their
    potential and producing work to an exceptional standard.
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher mathematics 20

Sample 2:       Capacity to plan and deliver engaging lessons that integrate the Quality Teaching
                model and maximise learning outcomes for students with diverse learning needs.

For several years, I have been part of a whole school focus developing lessons and
assessments using the Quality Teaching model, which has been incorporated into               Introductory
my teaching as follows:                                                                   statement leading
 The intellectual quality of my lessons is apparent whereby my students are able           to supporting
                                                                                              statements
    to explore relationships between mathematical concepts. My students are
    required to show meaningful understanding by explaining and justifying, and
    generalising from the specific. Over the past 6 years, students from my
    mathematics extension 2 classes have successfully contributed informative and
    thought provoking presentations at inter-school Talented Students Mathematics
    Extension 2 Presentation Days
 Knowledge is not fixed and can be constructed from a variety of viewpoints. My
    students are encouraged to address multiple ways that a problem may be solved
    by its open-ended nature. There are opportunities for discussion with others or         The applicant’s
    with the teacher. Rich tasks are used to promote higher-order thinking which              teaching
                                                                                          practices and the
    combines facts and ideas to explain, interpret and make conclusions.
                                                                                          resulting impacts
    Questioning techniques which require students to go beyond simple recall of            on teaching and
    facts (categorising, analysing, synthesising, evaluating) are used to deliver              learning
    engaging lessons
 A quality learning environment is established through high expectations. My
    lessons encourage and reward demonstrated learning. By differentiating the
    curriculum, rich problems are chosen to involve and challenge students of all
    abilities, delivered in a mutually respectful environment. My experience in
    teaching a Year 11 and Year 12 composite 2 unit and mathematics extension 1
    class is an example of where I have demonstrated success in differentiating the
    curriculum. This success can be measured through the excellent HSC results
    achieved by those students in this composite class
 The use of real life problems or hypothetical real life situations links
    mathematics with human purposes, an aspect of the third dimension of the
    Quality Teaching model – significance. This is evident in my lessons, for example,
    in teaching the FM2 topic in general mathematics, where students research
    financial data using the internet such as the site http://www.asx.com.au/,
    newspapers or other financial resources.
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher science 21

           Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher science

The most important thing you must do in your application is address the selection criteria. This will
demonstrate how your specific skills, knowledge and abilities make you a candidate who the selection
panel wants to interview for the advertised role. This will be entered at Step 7 of the online
application process at jobs.nsw. Below is an example of selection criteria for a science teacher
position at a secondary school. The example has four criteria but there could also be fewer or more,
as an advertised position does not have a fixed number of criteria. It is important to address each
one separately and not leave any out. Be aware that you can use the same example under different
criteria, but presented from a different perspective or with a different emphasis.

Don’t forget, if you are a new scheme teacher you could use examples from when you completed
your practicums or internships, or from your temporary teaching experiences.

                                          Selection criteria

 Approval to teach physics, chemistry and science Years 7-10. Skills and/or experience catering for
gifted and talented students. Demonstrated communication and interpersonal skills with the capacity
to work with students, parents, teachers and staff. Capacity to contribute to both faculty and whole
school programs.

For this position there are four separate criteria to be addressed.

    1. Approval to teach physics, chemistry and science Years 7-10

You will receive your approval to teach when you meet the requirements set by the NSW Department
of Education and Communities. New scheme teachers will also need to satisfy the requirements set
by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES). For more information see:

http://www.dec.nsw.gov.au/about-us/careers-centre/school-careers/teaching/your-teaching-
career/trained-teachers/apply-to-teach

You might think that there isn’t much to say for this criterion, other than the fact you have your
approval to teach. This is not the case. To impress the panel you need to give some detail about your
teaching experience and practices, and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of quality
teaching. This is also where you could select examples from your experience that are relevant to the
needs of the school at which you are applying for a position.

Have a look at the samples on page 23, and start to think about your experience and the examples
you could use.

To access the document Quality teaching in NSW public schools, please go to:

https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/proflearn/docs/pdf/qt_EPSColor.pdf
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher science 22

    2. Skills and/or experience catering for gifted and talented students

Note that this criterion says ‘and/or’, meaning that if you do not have experience catering for gifted
and talented students you can discuss how your skills make you able to teach these students.

Under this criterion you could outline:
   o how your skills make you able to successfully teach gifted and talented students
                                and/or
   o your actual experience teaching gifted and talented students.

Information regarding Gifted and Talented education can be found at:

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/policies/gats/assets/pdf/ust3elctr.pdf

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/policies/gats/assets/pdf/ust3beach.pdf

    3. Demonstrated communication and interpersonal skills with the capacity to work
       with students, parents, teachers and staff

This criterion uses the word ‘demonstrated’, which means you need to demonstrate (provide
evidence) that you have these communication and interpersonal skills. The word ‘capacity’ is then
used to show that you need to demonstrate that you CAN work with students, parents, teachers and
staff. You do not have to show that you HAVE worked with students, parents, teachers and staff.
However, if you can show that you have successfully communicated with students, parents, teachers
and staff you should include that information here.

    4. Capacity to contribute to both faculty and whole school programs

A faculty program is one which impacts on the entire faculty (such as the English faculty) and not just
your class. A whole school program is one which impacts on all students at the school, and may
include things like running a whole school physical activity program, an anti-bullying and resiliency
program, or a whole school numeracy program.

‘Capacity’ means you have the necessary skills or qualities to run programs such as these, but may
not be able to discuss instances where you have demonstrated this in a significant way (such as in a
faculty or school situation).

If you are unsure about the meaning of any criterion, seek clarification from the contact person
whose details are given in the advertisement.

Let’s have a look at some samples of how other people addressed these criteria. We’ll look at one
criterion at a time. The samples offer different strengths and weaknesses in terms of the information
included. While you are reading the samples, think about what is effective but also how they could be
improved. Are the criteria strongly addressed? Are examples given and results stated?

Note also that each sample may not follow the exact form of the other samples. There are dot points,
paragraphs, words or phrases in bold, italics, variations in spacing, introductory and concluding
statements. In terms of setting out, you may choose which way you’d like to address the criteria.
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher science 23

Approval to teach physics, chemistry and science Years 7-10

Sample 1:         Approval to teach physics, chemistry and science Years 7-10
My classroom is a vibrant and engaging space in which students participate in                Introductory
collaborative experiences exploring scientific principles. I am approved to teach             statement
physics, chemistry and science. In 5 years of quality teaching, I have:                     addressing the
 Successfully taught physics at Green Square High School since 2010. I ensure all             criterion
     my lessons are conceptually dense and engage students in activities which
     encourage strong critical thinking. For example, I co-designed a task where
     students designed and built a simple electrical motor and presented the               The applicant’s
     scientific principles on how the motor worked. The analysis of trend data for        relevant teaching
     students in my HSC physics classes indicates a 30% improvement in students            experience and
     achieving Bands 5 and 6                                                               specific student
                                                                                               results
 Consistently employed problem based learning activities in my Stage 4 and 5
     science classes at Green Square High School since 2010. For my Year 10 science
     class in 2011 I designed and implemented a problem based learning task in
                                                                                            The applicant’s
     which students assessed the impacts of a new hotel on a remote coastal area of           teaching
     Australia. They were asked to present their findings to the class accompanied by     practices and the
     a formal report. This resulted in a highly engaging sequence of lessons where        resulting impacts
     students gained a deep understanding of the environment and human impact                on learning
     on ecosystems. This was reflected in their improved topic test results.
At Fullerton High School I will foster student engagement through high quality
learning experiences shaped by a value for critical thinking and creative problem             Summary
solving. My teaching will be framed by a belief that all students can achieve a               statement
lifelong love of learning when they are encouraged to recognise the connection of
science to their own experiences.

Sample 2:       Approval to teach physics, chemistry and science Years 7-10                   Summary of
I am approved by the DEC to teach junior science, physics and chemistry. I have           teaching approval
successfully taught junior and senior science (including Life Skills) to a range of         and experience
students with differing educational needs. My demonstrated success within the
classroom at all stages has been highlighted by the enhancement of quality                 Relevant use and
teaching through a range of intentional pedagogical assessment and curriculum              understanding of
strategies. As a result, the level of academic achievement in the Essential                  educational
Secondary Science Assessment (ESSA) at Merryville High School has improved for               terminology
students who have been exposed to my pedagogy. My most recent achievements
include students attaining Band 6 in HSC physics and significant value adding to
                                                                                           The applicant’s
students in the lower bands of HSC chemistry. I have been acknowledged internally
                                                                                              teaching
and externally for my excellent junior science and HSC chemistry programming,             practices and the
resource development, assessments and HSC monitoring. My work with the Board                  resulting
of Studies assessing and being part of an examination committee has given me a               impacts on
deeper understanding of the examination setting process which is reflected by an            teaching and
improvement in the development and marking of science faculty assessments. My                  learning
teaching has been acknowledged through the publication of articles in Teaching
Science (the journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association).
                                                                                           The applicant’s
                                                                                           knowledge and
                                                                                            contribution to
 Look at the two samples above and think about which style you prefer for your            collegial learning
 application. Do you think dot points or paragraphs are more effective? Do
 introductory and concluding statements help in the presentation of the
 applicant’s suitability for the role?
Addressing the selection criteria – secondary teacher science 24

Skills and/or experience catering for gifted and talented students

Sample 1:       Skills and/or experience catering for gifted and talented students

I deliver relevant, meaningful and engaging learning experiences. My students know            Introductory
what is expected of them in class and are encouraged to work to the best of their              statement
                                                                                             addressing the
ability. I challenge all students to engage in higher-order thinking, through the
                                                                                                criterion
maintaining of a safe learning environment, where individuals can take educational
risks. I challenge gifted and talented students and differentiate the curriculum to
ensure that students of higher ability are challenged at a suitable level. I have:
□ Applied Bloom’s Taxonomy to encourage higher order thinking                                The applicant
I have utilised Bloom’s Taxonomy in class and through assessment tasks and non-            demonstrates an
                                                                                           understanding of
assessable items so that self-motivated students can challenge themselves and
                                                                                                relevant
demonstrate their understanding of concepts appropriately                                  approaches and
□ Differentiated the curriculum                                                            strategies for the
Gifted and talented students need to be extended and their learning enriched, and             education of
they appreciate the efforts of teachers to extend them beyond the curriculum and            gifted students
into the realms of their everyday lives. It is important that content be incorporated
with current scientific issues and themes with which students are familiar. My
students designed a ‘green-home’ using Trimble SketchUp, assessing their chosen             The applicant’s
materials and determining the economic viability of this ‘green-home’. Students                teaching
also designed a city, trying to balance the city’s growth with its environmental           practices and the
impact. These enrichment and extension activities deepen my students’ knowledge,               resulting
understanding and skills                                                                      impacts on
□ Applied multiple teaching strategies in class                                              teaching and
To ensure that students work to their potential and are engaged in learning, I cater            learning
for the wide range of learning styles of 21st century students. I recognise that even
in gifted and talented classrooms there exists a vast array of students, each having
different needs and preferred methods of learning. I cater for their needs allowing          The applicant
students to meet and exceed expected learning outcomes, as well as develop a               demonstrates an
genuine interest for their subject area                                                    understanding of
□ Applied the Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent                                     relevant
I am aware of Gagne’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent and                    approaches and
                                                                                           strategies for the
understand the needs of gifted students. It is essential that all gifted students are
                                                                                              education of
given the opportunity to flourish and achieve at the level at which they are capable        gifted students
and that this achievement requires a great deal of learning and practice. I believe
that all work should be completed at the highest level to ensure that perfect
practice is achieved.
My use of higher order thinking tools will ensure that my students at Fullerton High            Summary
School are constantly challenged and encouraged to think outside the box. My                    statement
students will be engaged, motivated and able to make connections between their              highlighting what
learning in my classroom and their everyday experience. My continuous feedback              the applicant will
                                                                                            bring to the role if
will ensure that all students are given the practice that they need in order to develop
                                                                                                 selected
their gifts into talents.
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